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Onward Nation

America's best podcast for learning how today's top business owners Think, Act, & Achieve. Onward Nation is a five-day-a-week podcast hosted by Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI. Business owners share the most influential lessons learned throughout their careers, including insights into their daily habits, their most vital priorities that have contributed to their business and personal success, and the most challenging time or situation that could have devastated or even ruined their businesses or careers. Business owners share their "recipes for success" including those systems they wish they had put into practice inside their business when first starting out. Each episode concludes with guests sharing two or three practical and tactical strategies they would recommend to brand new business owners in order to best ensure success in their new business and careers. Onward Nation provides business owners with the strategies and tactical step-by-step "recipe" that will help anyone make their business more systematic, predictable, measurable, and repeatable.
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Now displaying: 2015
Oct 13, 2015

Todd Kim has helped personal clients, business owners, professionals and financial institutions reach and maximize their financial goals for over 20-years. As a trusted financial advisor, Todd has worked with many retirees and pre-retirees in the construction and implementation of secure retirement income plans avoiding risks and maximizing full income potentials. Todd is considered a specialist in his field, coaching and training other advisors and financial and legal professionals seeking direction in the design and execution of well-crafted, defined benefit plans.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Todd visualizes what will happen each day – focus on the outcome. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Separate your negative energy – Todd uses visualization to achieve objectivity.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Todd lost 70-80% of his business fast – and Todd tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Have a good succession plan in place – have a strong retirement cash flow.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Do the job right the first time – put yourself in the place of the business owner.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have put in a higher quality system of checks and accountability – define roles and responsibilities.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Consistently survey your clients – find out what they’re interested in.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would focus, focus, focus – and give them a permission slip to give complaints without penalty.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Keep your overhead low – don’t dream too big
  2. Be focused on your marketing – market your product in a way that’s not expensive
  3. Be in tune with what your clients want – what they want may be different than what they say they want

How best to connect with Todd:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 12, 2015

Cathy Mendell has an extensive background in business development and growth management. Her roles have included 25-years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 company. Additionally, she has been a founder and Vice President of Sales in two startup companies. Cathy has taken her passion for business growth to a new level in assisting individuals in their financial success. Cathy is also the Fundraising Chair for The Orphanages of Kenya. She is responsible for the funding resources of the orphanage — and through her efforts — 36 children now have a home to call their own, loving guardians, medical care, and are receiving an education.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Cathy keeps the main thing the main thing – don’t get distracted. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Find your quiet time – Cathy gets up early and focuses.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Cathy had to back away from her business – and Cathy tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Success is the result of your daily actions – the compound effect of what you do daily brings success.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Change the word ‘but’ to ‘and’ – it changes a wall into a door.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have been more focused – concentrate on your goals.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Decide what you want – find what doesn’t work – pay the price.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual matches your own commitment – and don’t hire too soon.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Believe in your mission – understand your impact
  2. Spend the time you need to train – find the people that can make you better

How best to connect with Cathy:

 

You can find us here: ------OnwardNation.com------

Oct 9, 2015

Patricia Fripp is one of the few professional speakers who can transform the presentation skills of others — she is an executive speech coach and sales presentation skills trainer. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance wrote that “one of the best investments in your career is Patricia’s presentation skills training.” She is now virtually everywhere with her interactive training, FrippVT.com.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Patricia is disciplined – and she lives a good, clean life. ONWARD!

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“You need to be able to tell your story effectively – answer the question of what do yo do in an interesting and not a dull, predictable way.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Don’t concentrate on making a lot of money – concentrate on becoming the type of person people want to do business with and you most likely will make money.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

How do you make the audience the hero of the presentation?

Find the heroes in your own life – talking about them will earn you respect with your audience

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Take advantage of all the digital tools that are available to you today that weren’t around when I stated
  2. Target the people you already know for future business
  3. Stop considering customers your customers – they’ll leave

How best to connect with Patricia:

 

You can find us here: ------OnwardNation.com------

Oct 8, 2015

Anthony is the Managing Director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting firm. Anthony works with Fortune 500 sales organizations like Accenture, Abbott Laboratories, and CH Robinson. He helps companies produce increase sales by improving individual sales representative performance, providing tools and methodologies for more effective sales management, and through executive level coaching to senior managers. Anthony is a prolific writer, posting daily to his personal blog: The Sales Blog, which was named the #1 sales blog in the world in 2010. Anthony was named one of the 50 most influential people in sales and marketing in 2012. He also publishes a bi-monthly column in the Think Sales Journal and is a Contributing Editor at SUCCESS Magazine.

 

Secret – timesaving technique

Anthony spends Saturday organizing his life and Sunday planning his week – be proactive, not reactive. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Have coffee and head to the gym – Anthony creates the energy he needs to succeed each day.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Anthony had his revenue cut by 45% in one day – and Anthony tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“You have to figure things out – answer the questions that haven’t been asked yet.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Your job is to go out and create as much value as you can in the area where you can make the greatest difference.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have figured out who my dream clients are very early – don’t get distracted by “opportunities.”

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Businesses exist to create customers – take care of sales and marketing first.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual is resourceful – and has the initiative to get it done.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Focus on sales and marketing – feed your marketplace with the “why” you are different
  2. Make sure your employees understand the “why”
  3. Become a sales leader

How best to connect with Anthony:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 7, 2015

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.  

Good Morning, Onward Nation…I’m Stephen Woessner.

Since the advent of the commercial Internet…I have collected tens of thousands of data points that have given me the ability to identify what I call the 8 Money Draining Mistakes. These are the things that literally cause a business website – like yours – to leak serious money every day.

You may remember that I mentioned the Money Draining Mistakes during episode #68…but we didn’t have time to dig deep.

So for today’s solocast, I decided to loop back around and dedicate today’s episode toward how to fix one of the most expensive mistakes.

It’s Money Draining Mistake #5…and I call it “Not Knowing Your Customer.

I am excited to share this strategy and recipe with you because every time I sit down to prepare for a solocast…I think about you…and what I hope will be the result outcomes for you as a result of you listening and applying what you learn.

Why do I do this?

Because we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day and I take it very seriously that you chose to share some of your invaluable time with me today. As a result…I put in the time – the hard work to ensure that I deliver significant value.

It needs to be a fair trade of your time for the business value I deliver. I consider your time investment to be sacred.

So here it is – for this episode – we are going to dig deep into why most companies do not know their customers – how they miss the single WORD that could completely alter the customer relationship – and I am going to give you a specific step-by-step strategy or recipe for understanding exactly how to connect with your customers on a different and more valuable level than what you may be doing currently.

My hope for you is that you will take this recipe – apply it – and see predictable, measurable, and repeatable increases in sales inside your business as a result.

This episode represents such a significant opportunity for you and your business because only about 5% of the business owners listening right now will take action on the steps I share. You may nod your head in agreement – maybe even take some notes – or share this episode with a colleague.

But ultimately, your inaction will signify your acceptance of operating your business – and maybe even your life – at the level of the status quo. Onward Nation – please don’t let this be you!

Don’t fall into the trap of procrastination. My hope for you is that you will take the notes – have the discussions with your team – and then put the steps into action – swiftly.

This strategy has the potential of being a game-changer for you.  

Let’s begin.

First…I will ask you a question.

What’s the number one reason people buy anything?

I will give you a hint. It has nothing to do with the features, advantages, or benefits of the product or service.

In fact – it has everything to do with just one, four-letter word.

And that word is “HOPE.

The only reason we buy anything is because we HOPE that tomorrow will somehow be better than today as a result of buying the product or service we are considering. That’s it – HOPE.

So in order for you to fix this Money Draining Mistake you need to understand how to make an emotional and empathetic connection with your prospects and customers.

You do this by becoming a HOPE Dealer to your customers.

Let’s take this a little bit deeper with another question.

What percent of people make a purchase decision based solely on emotional reasons?

Would you guess 20%? 30%? 50%?

The answer is 100%.

Yes, 100%. We like to think that we are such rational creatures and we only make decisions based on objective data and thoughtful analysis. But the reality is that all of our decisions – yes, 100% of them – are made for purely emotional reasons.

I explain why within the solocast.

This is an incontrovertible fact. Therefore, you need to understand your prospects and customers from an emotional perspective.

You need to understand their challenges.

You need to understand their pain points.

And as one of my mentors, Darren Hardy likes to say, you need to metaphorically “Lay in their bed at night” to understand what is causing them pain.

So during this solocast, I share eight specific questions you and your team need to ask each other and then go out and ask your prospects and customers the same questions.

Once you have collected that data – you will have all you need in order to create your customer or client “Avatar.”

CAUTION!

Your avatar is one person. Not an email list of 20,000 people. One person and you give him or her a name, a personality, you hang a photo of her on your conference room wall, and every time you write an email campaign, shoot a video, etc. you speak directly to your avatar.

For example...when I am not interviewing today’s top business owners for Onward Nation episodes, I am the CEO of Predictive ROI…a digital marketing agency that specializes on delivering guaranteed sales and financial return on investment for our clients, or our work is free.

So at Predictive ROI…our client avatars are “Harry” and “Sally” (we chose those names because “When Harry Met Sally” is one of my favorite movies of all time).

And this is Sally:

  • Sally and her team are ambitious and want to learn new things
  • She knows there is more opportunity and growth “out there” and is frustrated she does not know how to capitalized on it, faster
  • She reads lots of books but doesn’t know a good idea from a bad one
  • She is uncertain and afraid to fail
  • She has been fooled before and does not know who to believe
  • Everything sounds too good to be true
  • And Sally has said to me…“Stephen...I want to trust you...that you can do what you say you can do...show me the evidence quickly that it is working and that you are delivering on your promises”.

During more than one prospect client presentation, “Sally” has said to me – “My goodness, that is me.” I smile when it happens because I know we just made a powerful connection.

You can too if you answer the eight questions in this episode and apply what you learned.

In closing…remember this reality…you are the average of the people you spend the most time with.

So you need to spend your time with people you have a common future with – not a common past.

And by consistently listening to Onward Nation – you are spending time with today’s top business owners…the people who are crushing it and already at the next level…the people whose recipes and strategies can help you grow your business, make your network more robust, and become more influential.

All so you can reach your goals and move your business onward to that next level.

I hope that makes sense.

Okay, Onward Nation – my hope is this solocast was valuable to you.

Please drop me a line and let me know what you thought.

Keep the feedback coming.

You can reach me directly at stephen at OnwardNation.com and let me know -- thumbs up or thumbs down?

Onward with gusto!

-- Stephen  

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 6, 2015

Payman Taei is the founder of Visme and HindSite Interactive. In late 2001 he started creating websites for businesses to pay his way through college. With $170 and a vintage Pentium processor in the corner of a small apartment, over the last 14 years he grew HindSite to a stable award winning web consulting company with two profitable divisions; a web consulting firm and a Software as a Service (Visme) which allows 250,000 businesses and individuals to create professional presentation and infographics right in their browser.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Payman has a daily task/goal list to stay focused – be productive every day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Be consistent – Payman sees success by keeping clear, consistent goals in sight.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Payman’s nine-month developed product wasn’t being used – and Payman tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“You need to have passion to be a business owner – you’ll only get so far without it.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“There is no shortcut – extremely hard work allows you to achieve your goals.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have listened to my instincts – be grounded.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Listen to your customers – but know when to say no.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual is in line without vision – and is passionate about our business.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Be ready to change angles at any given time
  2. Create a product you know there’s a need for – and make it the best product you can
  3. Differentiate yourself from the field

How best to connect with Payman:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 5, 2015

Dr. Marcie Beigel has been redesigning behavior for professionals, families, schools, and businesses for over 15 years. Her specialty is engaging with behaviors directly and giving clear and insightful directives to clients ­­ who are oftentimes ­­ business owners looking for balance at home to help create balance at work or new approaches to become better leaders. Her approach is heartfelt, but filled with tough love. You can get her weekly behavior newsletter at BehaviorAndBeyond.net. Dr. Marcie is also featured on NBC's Parenting Toolkit.  

Secret – timesaving technique

Dr. Marcie delegates tasks so that she has the time to do the things she loves – hire employees that love the tasks you don’t. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Never stop learning – Dr. Marcie continues to learn so she can share her knowledge with others.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Dr. Marcie had to completely rehaul her business model – and Dr. Marcie tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar – find the positive way to get it done.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“It’s never personal.”  

 

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have scheduled everything – my calendar used to only include my appointments with other people.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners need to lead by example – actions speak louder than words.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual treats the business as their own – and brings their own dreams to the table.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Mean what you say and say what you mean
  2. Take massive action – actions speak louder than words
  3. Treat everyone around you with amazing gratitude and appreciation

How best to connect with Dr. Marcie:

 

You can also find us at: ------OnwardNation.com------

Oct 2, 2015

Cody is one of the three Founders of Advisors Excel. In 2004, after leaving a corporate job to partner with David Callanan to be financial advisors, they decided there was an opportunity in the marketplace. So, in 2005, along with Derek Thompson, they formed Advisors Excel. Currently, Cody plays an integral part in the development and execution of the revolutionary marketing and training systems that Advisors Excel continues to bring to the table for their advisors.

Advisors Excel has become one of the fastest growing insurance marketing organizations in the country, and their story has been featured in SUCCESS Magazine, Cody was interviewed by Darren Hardy publisher of SUCCESS who also profiled Advisors Excel in his latest book The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster. Cody and his organization were also featured in Tony Robbins' #1 New York Times bestselling book, Money -- Master the Game.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Cody focuses on three priorities that align with their organizational model. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Cody likes to wake up early to exercise, which fuels his energy for the rest of the workday.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Cody dealt with a family member running into financial trouble -- and Cody tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Business owners need to provide a clear corporate vision -- only the owner is responsible for this vision.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Nothing beats hard work -- success comes to those who put the hours in -- serve the client"

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and implemented a team-building system versed in unity and collaboration.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners need to create a favorable client-experience -- it’s about a personalized positive impact.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who is honest -- trustworthy -- and has an unwavering attitude due to their effort.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Accept Responsibility
  2. Simplify your Business

How best to connect with Cody:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Oct 1, 2015

Misty is the founder, president, and energized force behind More Than Just Great Dancing. Her mantra that drives her and her team of 39 is “We don’t teach kids to make great dancers, we teach dance to make great kids.

Misty’s studio is frequently recognized as one of the best in the dance studio industry. Her Performance Companies have performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, on Carnival Cruise Lines, and at Walt Disney World. Misty is a sought after mentor, speaker, and recently shared her business methods as a guest blogger for SUCCESS.com.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Don’t look in the rearview mirror -- look forward -- make a calendar -- own your time. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Misty likes to wake up early -- eat the biggest frog first and everything else will become much easier.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Misty opened a second location after quick success -- and Misty tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Business owners need to limit interruptions and regain their focus so they can work towards a goal.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Leave a great taste -- the customer needs to either touch, taste, or feel a difference.”

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have went back and implemented a CRM system to help with our personal data collection.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners need to have a JAM session -- this uninterrupted session helps to move the ball forward.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who understands everyone is self-employed -- we can’t write a check if the money’s not coming in.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Overcome the battle
  2. The wolf you feed the most wins

How best to connect with Misty:

 

You can also find us here: ------OnwardNation.com------

Sep 30, 2015

Hamid is addicted to the high of making products that people love to use. Sometimes, the users even pay for them, which is how he funds his enormously high cost of body-hair removal. Along the way, he’s made a couple of companies including Axosoft and Pure Chat and has helped Arizona’s tech scene create its voice with AZTechBeat.com. He’s passionate not only about achieving financial success in business but also success in health and wellness as an owner and also for his employees.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Hamid tries to focus on one task at a time -- don’t get caught up in the daily complexities that tie business owners down. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Coffee! Hamid drinks three cups a day to refuel his energy reserve -- it’s a great decision-making partner.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Hamid learned through experimentation -- and Hamid tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Business owners should learn to make the best decision for their company by first determining the correct path.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Entrepreneurs have to understand the more is better attitude is a complex and dangerous strategy.”  

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and implemented a system to help our team gain market share through sustainable resourcing.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners need to think outside of their wheelhouse of expertise and continually evaluate consumer sentiments.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who looks at work as a personal craft -- it’s viewed as a major contribution to the universe.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Self-doubt can be conquered
  2. Simplify your business -- less is more

How best to connect with Hamid:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Sep 29, 2015

Mike Kawula is the CEO of Social Quant, a tool that helps entrepreneurs increase their marketing impact on Twitter. Michael has started and sold several businesses with his most recent being ranked the 144th fastest growing company by Inc. Magazine. He’s an author of Social Media book “Connect”, has been featured in 100’s of publications & media outlets and has been interviewed by Anthony Robbins & the late Chet Holmes.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Michael makes a list of activities -- and circles a few vital priorities to tackle in the morning. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Look at analytics -- measuring your activity can be a very effective way to gauge progress.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Michael’s primary account was frozen due to the rapid success of his online business -- and Michael tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Business owners should consider feedback from their customer base -- and grow through implementing solutions.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and implemented a system versed in interpersonal customer service during onboarding.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners need to break down their planning into different quadrants to record those big wins.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who finds new ways to overcome traditional problems -- with the ability to think outside the box.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Measure everything
  2. Continually evaluate your business

How best to connect with Michael:

  You can also find us here: ------OnwardNation.com------

Sep 28, 2015

Get ready to have your thinking challenged and expanded as you learn from an internationally recognized leadership expert. Mark is a bestselling author and noted authority on leadership, service and extraordinary performance. His bestselling book “The Fred Factor”, which sold more than 2 million copies to date has established him as the expert on turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, in business and in life. Mark is an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis. He is featured by Crestcom in DVD-based training taught in 90 countries. His list of 2,500+ clients include Harley-Davidson, Costco, Cisco, ESPN, First Data, and many others.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Mark reverse engineers his priorities by looking at the accomplishments for an organization then peeling back the steps. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Think proactively -- don’t get caught up within burdensome reactions during the workday.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Mark had to learn to build reserves in 2008 -- and Mark tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Business owners should learn to identify key competencies that make their organization great.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“In retrospect, you have to choose good partners, comprehensive systems, and find a single way to maintain success.”  

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have went back and implemented a system versed in maintaining success over a prolonged period.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners need to get their teams together and make top-ten lists to clarify blurry objectives.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who can grow from a good performer to a superstar by taking on those big challenges. “ABCD”

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Put in the work
  2. Have Fun

How best to connect with Mark:

 

You can also follow us here: ------OnwardNation.com------

Sep 25, 2015

Howard Partridge grew up on welfare in Mobile, Alabama and left home at 18. He arrived in Houston, Texas on a Greyhound bus with only 25 cents in his pocket. At age 23, he started his first business out of the trunk of his car and built it up to a multi-million dollar enterprise. He has owned 9 small businesses altogether and owns 4 companies at the time of this printing.

He is president of Phenomenal Products, Inc. which helps small business owners stop being slaves to their businesses by transforming it into a predictable, profitable, turnkey operation. For the past two decades, Howard has helped small business owners around the world dramatically improve their businesses. He currently has coaching members in 97 industries and 7 countries.

Howard Partridge is a #1 Amazon.com best selling author of four books. He has led hundreds of seminars, webinars, workshops and holds his own live multi-day events which have featured some of America's top business trainers including John Maxwell, Michael Gerber, Bob Burg, Dr. Joseph A. Michelli, Darren Hardy, Dr. Robert Rohm and American legend Zig Ziglar.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Howard believes an organizational system can turn into a huge timesaving technique. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Howard enjoys reading -- building relationships -- and working on personal development.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Howard’s company accumulated debt over a period of time -- and Howard tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Business owners should learn to build and maintain mutually beneficial meaningful relationships.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Find the people who have already been where you want to go -- personal growth is unlimited.”

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and implemented a five spoke system that’s versed in comprehensive development.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners will record big wins if executive leadership can effectively communicate their vision.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who understands their own potential -- the opportunity within our organization -- and the five spoke system.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Encourage others
  2. Build Relationships
  3. Be accountable

How best to connect with Howard:

 

You can also find us at: ------OnwardNation.com------ 

Sep 24, 2015

16 Years ago, Bryan took the leap to being accountable for his own results! After coming close to bankruptcy twice, and co-raising 4+ children, Bryan and his team are now celebrating The Results Group’s 10th year in business! The Results Group is the Master Distributor in North America for Innermetrix. His team supports clients across the US with a psychometric suite of tools that provide business owners and executives with insights into the most valuable asset in their company, THEIR PEOPLE! Bryan’s organization empowers clients to do what every consultant wishes they could do…GET RESULTS! Bryan’s team instructs and supports all of the HR Managers and VPs to get results immediately at the point of incident versus waiting to talk later. As you will hear in Bryan’s voice and throughout this conversation — he is passionate about helping people get better results more often with less energy!  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Productivity is derived from unwavering performance -- continual learning is essential. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Brian turns his nearly 35 miles commute into a mobile classroom with audio recordings.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

We almost had to file for bankruptcy during a rough patch -- and Brian tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“An organizational system has to be revisited -- look at your practices daily and reevaluate.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Would your client still say yes today -- serve the client -- earn the right year after year.”  

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have went back and implemented a client tracking system versed in data collection.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners will record big wins by measuring the performance of their organization and evaluating talent.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who understands there's not a shortcut -- fail and get up again -- put in the work.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Give back to the community
  2. Get better -- play where others aren't playing

How best to connect with Brian:

 

You can also find us here: ------OnwardNation.com------ 

Sep 23, 2015

Croft believes that if a leader wants a different result, if they want to create a different future for their organization, change begins with them.

Croft Edwards passion is coaching clients to reach for #LeadershipFlow - a heightened state of being which in turn produces peak performance at critical moments. His methodology has evolved over many years of leadership in the military, and coaching business leaders and teams. His approach begins with Self Mastery, where clients develop a clear understanding of themselves and what is masking their authentic nature. A powerful synthesis of language, moods and emotion, and history are developed through three systems of action Croft calls:

  • Visioning the Future
  • Cultivating other Leaders and Teams
  • Creating Culture and Expanding Capacity

A key result of #LeadershipFlow coaching is an increase in his client's capacity to navigate inevitable changes and crises. Since 2001 Croft has coached hundreds of individuals, from leaders and executives, to boots-on-the-ground team members, in both private and group settings.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Mental perseverance can be derived from a morning workout routine, which helps an individual to remain focused during the workday. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Croft meditates throughout the day -- meditation is a great way to start and end the workday.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Croft had to overcome a client breakdown -- and Croft tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Keep your calm -- there is always someone who’s overcome a far worse situation.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“You have the ability to envision your own future -- show up -- control your own destiny.”  

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and implemented a system focused on continual self-improvement.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners can lead a high-performing organization by showing they care -- set an example.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who is ready to become one of the biggest advocates for our company.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Manage your emotions
  2. Effective communication is essential

How best to connect with Croft:

 

Find us at ------OnwardNation.com------

Sep 22, 2015

Laurie is Thomas College’s 5th President, and the first female and alumna, to lead the College in its 120-year history. From 2004 - 2012, Laurie served as President and CEO of the Maine Development Foundation. Prior to MDF, Laurie served three governors as the Maine State Economist and before joining state government, she served as the Corporate Economist at Central Maine Power Company.

Laurie frequent author and speaker on leadership, education, and the economy in the state of Maine. Laurie also has a passion for workforce development and job readiness so the graduates leaving Thomas College are ready and well able to deliver the most value possible to their employers — or — perhaps start their own businesses.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Make a list of accomplishments -- try to stay within your framework to reach those specific goals. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Laurie writes down five things she’s grateful for each day -- ending the day with an attitude of gratitude helps you sleep easier.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

We failed to reach our enrollment target -- and Laurie tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“Provide a path for growth -- listen to feedback -- strive to be a leader who improves the lives of others.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Don’t tell them what they want to hear -- tell them what you believe to be the right answer.”  

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and implemented a system that could be applied to multiple operations.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners will record big wins by accepting feedback from peers as well as the greater community.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who can implement an actionable system versed in continued growth.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Beware of shortcomings
  2. Invest in yourself -- personal growth

How best to connect with Laurie:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Sep 21, 2015

With her passion for problem solving and quest for continuous improvement, Christine works with businesses, brands, communities, and individuals to help build their path to success. As the only Certified Brand Strategist in New England, Christine is driven to discover her clients unique position, put a stake in the ground, and build programs to support company goals. She founded the agency over 20 years ago to help her clients solve business problems with creativity.

Prior to smith&jones, Christine worked for New York City ad agencies from creative boutiques to global firms. She took the good (amazing creative and incredible service), left the bad (bureaucracy, expensive sandwiches), and started up her own agency back in Sturbridge where she grew up.

In addition to the many creative awards bestowed upon her agency, Christine has also been named Business Person of the Year by her local Chamber of Commerce and one of Central Massachusetts Outstanding Women In Business by the Worcester Business Journal. Christine is a sought-after speaker on the topics of brand, integrated marketing, and ideation. She is an expert facilitator of workshops that help companies solve business problems creatively. She is author of the blog BrandStanza.com little ditties that build big brands, and a certified member of the Brand Establishment and member of Agency Management Institute.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Christine take a few moments to daydream -- save time -- envision where you're headed. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Christine likes to see if she moved the ball down the field by employing a daily scorecard.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Christine learned to overcome entrepreneurial fear -- and Christine tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“A business owner needs to grow by overcoming challenges -- go out and conquer your fears.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Become your own personal brand -- authenticity and transparency leads to personal brand consistency.”  

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and simplified our systems -- less is more when it comes to systems.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners need to identify what makes their brand different from the competition.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who serves the client well -- collaborative, creative, curious and tenacious.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Have FUN
  2. Problem Solve

How best to connect with Christine:

 

Find us at -------OnwardNation.com-------

 

Sep 18, 2015

Laura Henderson is a successful technology executive who first made her mark in the industry as the General Manager of TEKLYNX Americas, Inc., the leading global provider of barcode and label software. As a strategic, results-oriented leader with a keen ability to create high-performing operating cultures, Laura consistently achieved double-digit top and bottom-line growth at TEKLYNX.

After nearly two decades of success leveraging technological advancements for the betterment of businesses across a variety of industries, her marriage to a special education teacher, and being the mother of five children, Laura recognized a need for technological advancements in an entirely different area — the gap between education and 21st century skills.

So Laura set out to close the gap with the 2014 launch of a personalized learning software application called Epiphany Learning.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Laura empowers others so that they can focus on a single vision, which eliminates major distractions. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Laura gets great sleep -- you have to take control of your daily schedule -- start with rest.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Laura had to deal with deconstructive criticism -- and Laura tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“A business owner needs to learn to inspire everyone that comes in contact with their business.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Positivity changes the dialogue in the office -- leadership is often derived from confidence.”  

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and put a system in place with an emphasis on human capital and growth.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners must invest in the maintenance and management of their teams.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who truly has a deep desire for lifelong learning and continual growth.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Consider the perspective
  2. Seek feedback
  3. It’s not personal

How best to connect with Laura:

 

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

 

Sep 17, 2015

Steve Fry is the co-founder of three companies over the past 19 years under the umbrella of Spindustry...Spindustry Digital, a digital marketing agency (in 2013 named the top place to work in Iowa by the Des Moines Register... Spindustry Staffing, a professional services staffing company...and Spindustry Training, an IT training center. The Spindustry team achieved both Inc. 500 and Inc. 5000 recognition several times for these businesses and a variety of other "Bests" in their industry.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Steve prioritizes by making a basic list, which helps manage the flow of the workday. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Steve has found great success by learning to network and service the local community.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Steve experienced a prolonged slowdown -- and Steve tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“A business owner needs to understand how to add value to their clients or the other businesses they service.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Surround yourself with people that are much smarter than you -- pick their brain.”

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and put a system in place to help our team cast a vision for the company.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners must look at a candidates comprehensive talents during the hiring process.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who truly cares and feels good about the work they are doing for the company.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Study the intricacies of business
  2. Act as if -- be who you want to be before you're there

How best to connect with Steve:

 

  You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Sep 16, 2015

Sharon Toerek is Principal of Toerek Law, a national intellectual property and marketing law firm focused on helping professionals in the advertising, marketing and creative services industries protect and monetize their intellectual capital, and manage the legal implications of their marketing and advertising work. Toerek is also a frequent speaker to professional organizations, advertising agencies, in-house marketing teams, on marketing industry legal issues.

 

Secret -- timesaving technique

Sharon prepares for tomorrow with a tactical pen to paper approach, which has a calming effect. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Sharon takes the time to call her family on a daily basis -- it is a great way to show you care.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Sharon had to learn to make timely decisions -- and Sharon tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“A business owner needs to learn to communicate -- without hiding behind new media platforms.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“You learn the most from the people you expect to be the least influential -- recognise it and listen.”  

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and put a system in place to help identify patterns and common problems among clients.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners who have unwavering confidence in their judgement at all times.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who can think strategically -- find viable solutions -- and make a difference for our clients.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Networking
  2. Timeliness and Stress Management
  3. Finding a Niche

How best to connect with Sharon:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------

Sep 15, 2015

Good Morning, Onward Nation…Stephen Woessner here.

I am going to continue the solocast momentum that was started last week in episode 65 with today’s episode – episode 68.

I am pleased to report that last week’s solocast went well – despite making me uncomfortable and really pushing my comfort zone – smiling – so I am going move onward with gusto and record a new solocast once a week so I can really dig deep into a topic or a business issue.

I will then share strategies and ideas that we have tested and applied in our companies so you have the same opportunity to apply those recipes into your business.

As I prepare for each of these solocasts…I think about you…and what I hope will be the result outcome for you as a result of listening.

So here it is – for this episode – my hope for you is that this episode will help bring into focus the 6 Vital Metrics controlling your growth.

More specifically…here’s what we will cover during this episode.

1) We are going to define some terminology like Vital Priorities, Vital Functions, and Vital Metrics.

2) I will show you how to identify the 5 or 6 Vital Metrics you need to pay attention to in order to ensure that your sales and marketing strategies are turning your business into what I like to call a “Sales Generating Machine”.

3) And lastly…I want you to give me a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on this episode by reaching out to me at stephen at onwardnation.com.

So let’s get started.

The first term we need to define it Vital Priorities. What are they and why are they relevant?

Let’s think of Vital Priorities as your big goals over the next 12-months – and if we didn’t accomplish anything else – the year would have still been a major success. But if you didn’t accomplish these goals, then the rest of the year would not have mattered.

That is the incredible importance of Vital Priorities.

Then there are Vital Functions and those are the skills – the processes – the talents you possess that make you the best inside your company at certain tasks and projects. We aren’t going to spend time delving into Vital Functions during this solocast but I will likely dedicate a future show specifically to taking Vital Functions deep.

Then there are the Vital Metrics and this is how you should quantify and measure your success – your progress toward accomplishing your Vital Priorities.

I should also cite the source and give credit where credit it due. The terminology of Vital Priorities, Vital Functions, and Vital Metrics is not my own. It is a process – a strategy – that I learned from one of my influential mentors, Darren Hardy, Publisher of SUCCESS Magazine. Darren and I have spent a lot of one-on-one time together – some of it painful – because learning those lesson that need to be learned can sometimes be a painful experience.

Darren has been an incredible mentor.

Before I share the Vital Priorities with you – let me proactively answer a question that tends to cloud the minds of business owners. Oftentimes a business owner will say to me, “Stephen, this sounds great but I have people on my team who do this digital marketing stuff. Why do I need to care about this? I don’t want to learn it.”

You don’t need to be the one who pulls the levers or turns the knobs, but if you don’t pay attention to the scorecard, no one else will. I asked Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist for Google the same question, and his answer was, “It's because if you care about it — and you understand it — then you will be rich. But if you just dump it on someone else's lap, then you will be poor. That should be incentive enough." Well, said Avinash.

Here are the three Vital Priorities:

1) Acquisition: you need to pay attention to the amount of traffic flow to your digital existence – your website – and the sources of that traffic to ensure the sources are high quality and consist of the right audience. If your site is attracting the wrong traffic from the wrong sources, your lead generation and revenue generation efforts will suffer.

2) Engagement: yes, Facebook Likes, Twitter followers, comments, shares, etc. are all valuable metrics that indicate engagement with your content and online community. But for the “engagement” Vital Priority, what you should be looking for is a reduction in bounce rate, increase in time on site, or other metrics that indicate the behavior of your audience is indicating that you are creating well-prepared prospects.

3) Transaction: this is the ultimate litmus test of success – did you sell something? Were you able to convert site traffic into leads and then those leads into buyers? Did the average conversion value increase, did the number of days to convert someone from a lead into a sale decrease, and did total company revenue increase? If not, then the strategy / recipe needs to be revisited with your team and likely revised.

Along with the three Vital Priorities, there are also 6 Vital Metrics. And they are:

1) Change (increase / decrease) in unique website visitors

2) Change (increase / decrease) in conversion rate of unique website visitors into email optins for Flitz

3) Change (increase / decrease) in conversion rate of email optins into buyers

4) Change (increase / decrease) in overall conversion rate of site visits into buyers

5) Change (increase / decrease) in average order value

6) Increase in total company revenue

And during the solocast…I also explain the S.M.A.R.T. framework to goal setting and how the lack of baselines and S.M.A.R.T. goals creates one of the most expensive Money Draining Mistakes for an organization.

In closing…remember this reality…you are the average of the people you spend the most time with.

So you need to spend your time with people you have a common future with – not a common past.

And by consistently listening to Onward Nation – you are spending time with today’s top business owners…the people who are crushing it and already at the next level…the people whose recipes and strategies can help you grow your business, make your network more robust, and become more influential.

All so you can reach your goals and move your business onward to that next level.

I hope that makes sense.

Okay, Onward Nation – my hope is this solocast was valuable to you.

Please drop me a line and let me know what you thought.

Keep the feedback coming.

You can reach me directly at stephen at OnwardNation.com and let me know -- thumbs up or thumbs down?

Onward with gusto!

-- Stephen

Sep 14, 2015

Jane Park is the President and co-owner of Belle Destination Weddings & Events, Inc., a luxury wedding planning and design firm based on the island of Maui. Jane began her event planning career in 2005. After working in the industry for another planning firm, Jane identified a lack of luxury planning & design services in the Hawaii destination event industry. Focusing on this niche, she formed Belle Destination Weddings & Events in 2008.

Undeterred by the bleak state of the economy at the start of the recession, Jane began Belle with one motto, "Do things the right way the first time around", setting up her business to grow successfully. She was joined 2 years later by fellow event designer and business partner, Lena Sebag. With the addition of Lena's talents, the two catapulted Belle Destination Weddings & Events into the company that it is today. With an almost obsessive attention to detail, an emphasis for design, and a "little black book" of some of Hawaii's leading professionals, Belle quickly climbed the ranks of Hawaii's elite event planners. Today, Belle Destination Weddings & Events is one of the most successful planning firms in the industry and was voted one of Hawaii's Fastest 50 growing small businesses for 2015 by Pacific Business News.

 

Secret -- timesaving technique

Jane makes a master list of priorities for each of her individual clients and updates the lists daily. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Jane exercises in the morning because it cultivates positives vibes for the workday.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Jane launched her business during the recession -- and she tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“A business owner needs to create an organizational system and learn to communicate effectively.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Preparation is essential for business owners -- always prepare before the event.”  

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and put a system in place to help us with strategic marketing.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners who deliver inimitable service to others -- resourcefulness -- and open-minded problem solving.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who maintains a positive attitude -- and is fully committed to the client.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Do it the right way
  2. Build a strong foundation

How best to connect with Jane:

 

  Find us on iTunes at ---------- OnwardNation.com ----------

Sep 11, 2015

When Ty was 21 years old, he and his brother Scott started a business in direct sales, which they built to over $20 million in annual revenue while still in their twenties. Since that time, he has developed over 500 sales managers globally with sales and leadership in 37 countries. As a young entrepreneur, Ty continues to engage his teams focus to grow sales. He uses the power of influence and storytelling to get buy-in to the vision of growing their multimillion-dollar sales organization.

With a natural ability to engage and empower others, Ty draws on his experience in the trenches to share real and tangible techniques about the principles of leadership that continue to create his success. The founder of Leadership Inc., who has been featured as one of the Top 40 Under 40, Ty is a young fresh voice providing interactive presentations that are engaging, dynamic and inspiring.

His clients include some of the most recognizable brands in the world such as: Coca-Cola, Subway, Wounded Warrior Project, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Remax. Ty has shared the stage with celebrities, Olympians and world-renowned thought leaders such as President Bush and President Clinton.

Ty's best-selling books The Power of Influence and The Power of Storytelling: The Art of Influential Communication are used in graduate courses at multiple universities including MIT, as today's version of How to Win Friends and Influence People.

In June 2014, Ty Bennett received the CSP Designation. At just 32 years of age, he is one of the youngest ever to receive the award in the shortest amount of time. Less than 5% of speakers earn the CSP honor.

Ty lives in Utah with his wife Sarah, daughters Andie and Lizzy and sons Tanner and Drew.  

Secret -- timesaving technique

Developing a morning routine is essential -- starting your day early is a vital priority for Ty. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Ty has a few daily habits -- prayer, meditation, and a moderate exercise at the gym.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Ty had to overcome a few emotional roller coasters -- and Ty tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“A business owner needs focus on their strengths -- become a true leader -- and learn to inspire others.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Make sure to write the book for the reader -- not for the writer -- find a way to inspire your audience.”  

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and put a training system in place to help with our sales distribution.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners who plan and prioritize effectively will be able to develop a habitual routine that compounds over time.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who goes beyond their specific role and truly cares about our work.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Find a mentor
  2. Don’t quite because it’s totally worth it

How best to connect with Ty:

 

You can also find us here: ------ OnwardNation.com ------ 

Sep 10, 2015

Good Morning, Onward Nation…Stephen Woessner here…

I am going to do something really different for this episode…episode 65 (and I cannot believe this is 65 already).

I decided to go solo today and fly this episode without a guest. 

And I did that because recently I was having a conversation with one of my mentors and he said to me…”Stephen, Onward Nation is great and it is wonderful how you always put the spotlight on the business owners – the incredible guests on your show – but I want to know more about what you think – what your path has been – tell me more about what you think about the same questions you ask your guests.”

And I thought – wow – that is a really good question – but it really pushed my comfort zone. Although as I thought about his question -- I realized this would be an opportunity to add and share value with you, Onward Nation, in a completely different way.

So I accepted his challenge – and depending on how this episode goes – I am planning to record a new solocast once a week where I really dig deep into a topic or business issue – strategies and ideas – recipes I have learned that you can apply into your business right away to make it more systematic, predictable, repeatable, and measurable.

Again…this is my first solocast – and it feels a bit awkward – so I’d really like your feedback after you listen – drop me a line – let me know – thumbs up or thumbs down. Trust me – I love feedback – good – bad – whatever. So please share it with me.

Before we dive in…and if you’re listening to Onward Nation now for the first time…I will give a very brief personal intro to provide some context behind the voice.

Hi…I’m Stephen Woessner. I am the host of Onward Nation – but – when I am not interviewing today’s top business owners, I am the CEO of Predictive ROI…a digital marketing agency…and I don’t particularly like that label because Predictive does so much more than digital marketing. Yes, we do the traditional things like increasing site traffic, leads, and sales. But what makes us truly unique…is our ability to predict a client’s increase in sales…their actual financial return on investment in the form of dollars and cents…and then guarantee that performance…or our work is free. And because of that – we find ourselves deep inside a client’s systems, inventory, sales team, and all sorts of business development processes.

I love the problem solving work we do – it oftentimes reminds me of my days of troubleshooting when I was a missile technician working inside nuclear missiles silos on the prairies of South Dakota while I was in the Air Force many years ago. I have been in digital marketing since the advent of the commercial Internet. I am the best selling author of two books in the area, I spent nearly 6 years at the University of Wisconsin – at the La Crosse campus, and I taught throughout the state include the UW-Madison School of Business, and my business building insights have been featured in Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, Forbes, SUCCESS, The Washington Post and some other media. And I am currently working on my third book.

Okay, let’s press on to something more valuable like solving big challenges in our business – big obstacles – those things that are really holding you back from jumping off the plateau you may be on right now – and leaping onward to that next level.

That’s what we are going to focus on during this episode.

First, we all know that building and scaling a business is hard work. But when you have the right strategy – that right “recipe for success” to follow – the action steps become more like “ingredients” and can be added systematically into your business – one ingredient at a time.

And every day at Onward Nation, I have the incredible opportunity to interview today’s top business owners and ask them to share their specific recipes for success – and to break those strategies down into tactical step-by-step processes and systems.

I distilled all of those ideas, strategies, steps down into actionable “recipes” you can take and apply into your business right away.

If you are not familiar with my recipe and ingredient thought process – you may be thinking you just walked into a baking podcast by mistake. Close…but not quite.

Here let me explain the recipe metaphor this way…

Say I make the world’s best chocolate cake. And I grew up working in my mom’s bakery – so my chocolate cake is actually pretty good. 

And say you come up to me and say, hey Stephen…I cannot bake anything, in fact, boiling what is hard for me…but…I love your chocolate cake. Could you teach me how to bake your cake so that it turns out just like yours?

How could that even be possible?

I’ve been perfecting my chocolate cake for the last 30 years…and you have zero baking skills.

How could you possibly think that you could duplicate my results?

To even have a shot at it – is there something I could give you – some edge – some insider’s knowledge?

Of course…I need to give you my recipe.

The recipe will act as your “strategy” behind the cake. Right?

With the recipe…you can see the entire process…the flow…the visualization of the goal…how you need to setup the environment, i.e. your kitchen…all the steps…all the tools you will need.

But the recipe is just one piece…what else do you need?

Right! The ingredients.

You need to know the specific amounts and specific qualities of the ingredients, right?

And then there is one more thing…you have the recipe…you have the ingredients…but…you must also follow the syntax.

And syntax is a fancy word that simply means the order of the process.

So think about a recipe you have followed in the past…we have all done this…we mix the eggs together with the flour before we put in the oil and now we have goo. Not awesome.

So the syntax…or the order in which we execute the strategy really matters.

So I’m going to share some incredible business building recipes with you…but I’m going to share the ingredients…and I’m going to give you the syntax or the process for all the steps.

Hopefully that makes sense.

And as Jim Rohn said…”You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Now, maybe you are hearing Jim’s pearls of wisdom in this quote for the first time. I was having lunch with some friends the other day and I shared that quote and I could tell they were a bit shocked by it – so I took another minute to explain.

I shared several scenarios to illustrate the powerful lesson Jim taught us in that quote…and I will share the same with you.

Say you’re walking down a hallway with your one of your top clients…and your client has a faster pace than you.

What do you do?

Do you walk your normal pace or do you speed up?

Does your client slow down?

Likely not.

Our natural instinct is to speed up – to keep pace.

So let’s consider a different scenario.

Let’s say this time you are walking with a group of four other people through the mall and they are all walking slow…like dreadfully slow…painfully slow.

What do you do?

You may start to think of some creative ways to speed them up…but they don’t speed up…in fact…they may even slow down further…but how is this possible?

And if you try to speed up…you simply get out in front of them and create stress for yourself and for the group. 

Here’s the reality: you will not de-stress until you are free from the slow group and find a group that wants to move at your same – faster speed – or potentially even faster than you so you are challenged to grow and speed up to keep up.

Because if you don’t…eventually you will slow your pace to confirm to the group – because you don’t want to be rude…so you slow down.

This episode will move at a pace and tempo that is uncommon…we are going to move at the pace of today’s top business owners.

And if you listen to Onward Nation on a consistent basis – today’s top business owners are the people you are spending time with – and that is awesome.

So here is the first lesson I want to share with you…if you want to move your business onward to that next level…then you need to spend time with business owners and mentors who are ALREADY at that next level – AND -- they move at a pace and tempo faster than you.

And when you join that group – or have that person as your mentor – you will grow.

Hope that makes sense – and I have prepared a very detailed recipe on mentorship for you during today’s discussion.

More on that in a few minutes.

So make it a commitment – to find other business owners who are already at that next level – and spend time with them – learn from them – and you will naturally speed up to keep pace and as a result you will be moving toward the next level yourself.

So here’s what I am going to cover during today’s episode – let’s call it an agenda of sorts – as Kim Garst said to me during our interview – “you gotta have a checklist, Stephen.”

1.First, I will show you how to spot the two biggest obstacles currently preventing you from moving your business onward to the next level

2.Second, I will show you how to attract the right mentors to help you overcome the obstacles and accelerate your results

3.Third, I will show you how to implement and master a specific system that will dramatically expand your network and sphere of influence

So let’s dive in.

What if I told you that the two biggest challenges preventing you from moving your business onward to the next level have nothing to do with the business climate, the economy, the skill level of your employees, the location of your business, your pricing strategy, your current customer base, the size of your marketing budget, the quality of your products, your distribution channels, or the myriad of other reasons we are given today by the media and government as to why businesses fail at such a staggering rate in this country.

What if the obstacles in your way had nothing to do with any of that?

And in instead, what was blocking you…the obstacles keeping your business in check…are the same obstacles that have always attempted to keep you in check throughout your entire life.

Your enemy is not the myriad of reasons I just listed off…instead…your first challenge…or better yet…your first enemy is the Fear of Poverty. 

Many of you have read – but possibly not in a while – this incredible book, Think and Grow Rich published in 1937 by Napoleon Hill.

If you have listened to Onward Nation episodes – and my guess is you have or you would not be here this evening – our guests often reference Think & Grow Rich because it is a compendium of knowledge.

The book was made possible by Andrew Carnegie.

Carnegie at the time was the wealthiest man in the world, met Napoleon Hill, liked him and offered to commission him to open the doors to the greatest industrialists of the time.

That was 1908.

And he said, “I’ll open the doors if you’ll sit down with these top business owners and figure out their secrets to success. What they do, they’re methods, they’re mindsets that have caused their extraordinary success and you put it into a book and publish it and make it available to the world.” 

So, Napoleon sat down with Henry Ford, Edison, Schwab, Wrigley, and both Rockefellers.

Imagine being able to spend time with those business owners and pull out their best ideas for success and achievement.

If you have read, studied, and applied the book…you understand the great knowledge in this book and are already ahead of 98% of your competition.

But often times…this book is an easy to forget treasure because it was written in 1937 – but the strategies in this book are still just as applicable today.

If you have not yet read, studied, and applied the book – then consider this a million dollar resource you have just been given. You can go to OnwardNation.com/book and get the Audible version of Think and Grow Rich for free…that’s OnwardNation.com/book.

The Fear of Poverty is one of the 6 basic fears but it is also the most pervasive, destructive, and confusing to understand. But why?

On the surface, it seems as though this fear would revolve around the fear of becoming poor – and there definitely is that component.

But, the way this particular fear manifests itself is what makes it easy to spot. 

We become so fearful of poverty…that we freeze and are plagued with indecision, indifference, doubt, worry, over-caution, and procrastination.

Just when you ought to take action…you don’t.

When sales are declining…you ought to make more sales calls…but you don’t…you freeze because the fear of poverty has you paralyzed.

Just when you should be investing in that new expansion – that new marketing strategy – that new development – hiring new employees – you don’t.

You become overly cautious. Or…you disguise your caution by saying your “skeptical”. And by the way -- that is code for “I am afraid.”

You become so fearful of hitting the wall – that all you do is focus on the wall.

And then what happens?

Exactly…you end up hitting the wall.

To be clear…I am not suggesting that you throw caution into the wind and become financially irresponsible and then lose your business as a result of mismanagement. 

That would be silly.

But I am trying to bring into focus that our Fear of Poverty can be one of the major obstacles that hold us back from the abundance at that next level.

And it doesn’t matter who you are – we have all felt it before – especially when trying to pursue something new – that next level.

Remember, if you focus on the wall…you will hit the wall.

But if you focus on the infield – you may still eventually hit the wall…but your opportunity likely increases by a factor of 10 IF you steer your business where you want it to go instead of letting yourself and your business become paralyzed by indecision, indifference, doubt, worry, over-caution, and procrastination.

So if the Fear of Poverty is the first challenge – what is the second one keeping you from moving your business forward?

It is the Fear of Criticism and is also one of the 6 basic fears…and it too is easy to spot.

This fear what prevents you from making that sales call to that prospective client everyone in town wants because you hear that voice inside your head that says…

Oh come on…who do you think you’re kidding calling them? You have nothing to offer. They only work with big companies. You’re too small.” 

You hear… "You’re not good enough…you don’t have the skills, you will never make it…why bother trying…there are others who are more gifted, talented, they already have all the connections…what could you possibly offer that would be unique and different…just try something that is more at your current level – call on someone smaller – don’t call the president or owner – call someone who reports to them – that would be easier."

"Why can’t you just be normal?"

The fear of criticism can be overcome with grit…with tenacity…with perseverance…with the shouting into the abyss…I will not be defeated.

You saying…"I will WIN THE DAY".

And when you do that – and I believe when you’re moving in the direction of God’s plan for your life – there is nothing that can stop you. 

Now that we have identified the 2 biggest obstacles holding you back – which really aren’t obstacles at all are they – they all are in your mind – now let’s work through our first of several recipes this evening.

Recipe #1 focuses on mentorship. 

If you have listened to our Onward Nation episodes, you already know that I ask every single guest to share the most influential lesson they ever learned from one of their mentors that helped them become the business owner they are today.

And wow…our guests have shared some outstanding lessons.

So for this solocast, I am going to share a very specific recipe for attracting and finding the right mentor because Onward Nation listeners have asked me exactly that – as well as to help them understand what would be expected of them as a mentee?

But first – let’s make this more specific. Why find a mentor?

And yes, there is a specific recipe you can use to find a mentor and I am going to share that with you.

Before I share the step-by-step ingredients to this powerful recipe…I will share something I have not shared during Onward Nation episodes…two of the most influential lessons I ever learned from one of my mentors…Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS Magazine.

For 12-months, Darren was a member of our board of advisors at Predictive ROI. So we would get together either in-person or over the phone. And during one of our monthly calls, I explained to Darren some of my reservations about building a big business. I wasn’t sure how big I wanted Predictive ROI to become. And so I was nervous about it.

And I said, “Gosh, Darren – you know – I’ve never thought of myself as being a great manager of people. And quite frankly, honestly Darren, I kind of suck at it.

And then Darren said to me, “Stephen…stop SUCKING at it!"

And I said, “What do you mean?

And he said…”Don’t give me that lie or tell me that myth that you are telling yourself. Don’t use that as a fricken excuse to stop moving forward. Stop telling yourself that limiting belief and that lie that you’re not a good manager or leader. Be better at it. Don’t give me the excuse.”

And so I’m standing there almost like fricken naked – totally stripped down – I was like, holy crap, he totally called me on it right.

That’s embarrassing – because he was right!

And that’s what a good mentor does for you – they call you out when you need to be called out – they support you when you need to be supported and they teach you when you need to be taught. But they don’t do the hard work for you – that’s on you.

So here are the specific ingredients for finding the right mentor for you:

  1. Think about your own talents and skills you would like to strengthen -- weaknesses you would like to lessen -- areas of your business you would like to improve, etc.
  2. Then make a precise list that details everything you just thought about.
  3. This process helps you identify the person you need to become in order to move your business onward to the next level
  4. This is a really hard exercise because you have to force yourself to take a critical look at yourself (and by the way -- most people are not willing to get really honest with themselves -- and that is one of the major reasons they never grow)
  5. Once you have the list -- look for people who are crushing it in these areas -- the same areas where you need to grow.
  6. Then contact those people -- invite them to lunch -- let them know you are packed full of questions for them
  7. Be very prepared -- they will love that
  8. Interview them and put what they share with you into practice -- turn it into a blog post and your clients will love you for it
  9. Loop back to your mentors and share your success
  10. When you do, they will invite you to sit down so they can share more with you.
  11. Soak it all up -- then put it into practice.

Remember…a good mentee takes action on what is learned — and the responsibility is on you.

Let’s go deeper by taking a look at three of our Onward Nation guests and how they are crushing it with mentorship.

First, Don Yaeger – episode 2 of Onward Nation.

What is the difference between Don Yaeger and another professional speaker you could hire for an event?

Don has mentored with the greatest champions of our time – including Coach John Wooden for over 12 years…and Don distilled all of this knowledge into what he calls the 16 Characteristics of Greatness. Now, it would be easy to say – “Well sure, Stephen, Don can do that because he has all of the connections.” And true – Don can get anyone in the world of sports to take his call. In fact, I was staying with Don and his family for a week in Tallahassee and one morning, Don’s cell phone rang and Don said to me “It’s Bob Kraft”…and I said, “Wait, what? You mean like Bob Kraft who owns the New England Patriots?”

But don’t forget, Onward Nation…even Don Yaeger had to start somewhere. So will you sit around and be fearful for another year – or – will you start getting mentored and move your business onward?

Next, Stacey Alcorn…episode 3 of Onward Nation.

What is the difference between Stacey Alcorn and another real estate professional?

Stacey has mentored with some of the best and brightest minds in business and connected those relationships back into building her real estate empire. I will later share with you a billion dollar recipe right out of Stacey’s cookbook…and I know we have several real estate professionals on the workshop right now…Stacey’s firm had 324 closings in June. Bam!

And lastly, Nancy Marshall – episode 19 of Onward Nation.

What is the difference between Nancy Marshall and another marketing or PR professional you could hire?

Nancy realizes that she may be located in the state of Maine – but the market for Nancy Marshall Communications is worldwide…which is why she has invested the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to write a book, develop a trademarked process in her agency called The Marshall Plan, and to invest in building a network through mentoring with the right people – and giving back – and now her network helps her company grow in the good times and become a safety net in the downturns – because the storm clouds will come no matter who you are or what kind of business you run.

Here’s the reality…you are the average of who you spend the most time with. So you need to spend your time with people you have a common future with – not a common past.

Let me close out this first recipe by saying...you can want to find a mentor – the recipe that I just shared with you could be worth millions of dollars in new sales to your company – but – it won’t be worth anything unless you DECIDE to take action.

As Tony Robbins says, a real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve take action – in fact – that you have taken massive action. And if there’s no action – then that is simply an indicator you haven’t really decided anything.

Now that we have conquered and overcome the two main challenges standing in your way – and now that I have shared with you a very specific recipe with all of the step-by-step ingredients (in the proper syntax) so you can find your right mentor or mentors…it is now time to really accelerate your results and move your business onward to the next level.

The next recipe I am going to share with you could represent a billion – yes, with a "B" – billion dollar strategy for your business.

I am going to share a recipe for mastering a specific system that will dramatically expand your network and sphere of influence – and – I will also share with you how you can then monetize these valuable relationships into mutually beneficial partnerships and revenue for your business.

And yes, I know it may sound crass or inappropriate when I say monetize relationships – unfortunately, I can’t think of a better word – I think you get what I am driving at.

But before we get to the recipe…let me put typical “networking” into context.

Most business owners go to an event with a large number of “prospects”.

They pass out business cards.

They chit-chat small talk with the same people they met their last month.

The collect others business cards.

More chit-chat small talk.

They might even schedule some lunch meetings.

Why do we do this?

Here's why.

Because this is safe – it is easy – it does not make us face our fear of poverty or our fear of criticism. What would people think if I did that…or went here…or spent time with so and so…they will all think I am too big for my britches. 

I am going to work hard here to shift your paradigm of what is possible. 

And that is why I love this quote from Archimedes. “Give me a prop strong enough, and a level long enough, and I can single handedly move the world

This next recipe I am about to share with you will become your lever and prop.

And it is big – this is literally a billion dollar recipe – and I am going to introduce you to the top business owner who is using it generate a billion dollars.

She describes herself as a billionaire in the making.

Let me introduce you again to Stacey Alcorn. Her episode is still on our leaderboard of top podcasts. 

During our interview, Stacey told me about the afternoon she had spent the week before with Kevin O’Leary, Mr. Wonderful from ABC’s Shark Tank – they spent the afternoon tasting wine and exchanging business mantras and best lessons. Stacey and Kevin had quite the masterminding session.

There is always a strategy behind what Stacey does – and if you go back and re-listen to episode 3, Stacey maps out her entire business building strategy with precision.

But we are going to focus on the billion-dollar recipe that Stacey has developed.

Most people will not swing for the fences – but Stacey does. So here are the specific ingredients in Stacey’s recipe.

  1. Make list of influencers in your industry and / or your Dream 50 clients / prospects
  2. Connect via social media, email, or call
  3. Ask for 30-minutes so you can interview them on their path / keys to success
  4. Do your homework – prep excellent questions
  5. Be excellent during the interview
  6. Share what you and your company does at close of interview
  7. Invite / open the door for future opportunities
  8. Then share guest’s expertise on your blog, media outlets, your podcast, etc. – your platform
  9. Rinse and repeat – rinse and repeat

Key point: if you interview the movers and shakers in your industry – they become your informal mentors…and you become one of the movers and shakers in the industry as a result.

If you want a BIGGER – more ROBUST – more INFLUENTIAL network – then YOU must become bigger…your platform must become more robust…and you must become more influential.

Warning -- ROAD BLOCKS!!

Now, some of you listening to this recipe right now may be thinking – “Oh sure, Stephen…Stacey has an email list of 65,000 people and has interviewed all of these celebrities and big time business people – I don’t have those connections.”

Or, maybe you’re thinking… “My business just started…I don’t have mindshare in the marketplace, I’m not a published author, I don’t have a platform, no one knows who I am, who will listen to me – what do I have or could I share that would be relevant for anyone to listen to, I don’t have a network – I wouldn’t even know how to start.”

All of those excuses – all of those alibis – those are the Fear of Poverty and the Fear of Criticism working against you again.

If you hear those voices in your head – if you are having thoughts that are even remotely similar to what I just mentioned – let that be your litmus test – you now know you are heading in the right direction. 

Push forward – don’t stop – don’t let your fear hold you back from breaking through to that next level. 

Remember, you are the average of the people you spend the most time with…and look who Stacey is spending the most time with.

She refers to herself as "A billionaire in the making." And in order for that vision for her life to become a reality – she knows that she needs to spend as much time as possible with other billionaires.

Well, I will let you in on a secret she told me during our interview – Stacey didn't have those connections several years ago.

But she DECIDED that was going to change and then she took action to make it happen.

I hope that makes sense.

Okay, Onward Nation – I hope this first solocast was valuable to you. Please drop me a line and let me know what you thought.

Thumbs up or thumbs down? Please drop me a line and let me know.

Onward with gusto!

-- Stephen

Sep 9, 2015

Called an “uncommonly honest author" by the Boston Globe, a "marketing guru" by The Wall Street Journal, and a sales guru by the Financial Times, Michael Port is a NY Times bestselling author of six books including Book Yourself Solid, The Think Big Manifesto and his hot new release, Steal the Show. Interestingly, he is probably the only NY Times bestselling business book author to have also been a successful professional actor, guest starring on shows like Sex & The City, Law & Order, Third Watch, All My Children and in films like The Pelican Brief and Down to Earth. These days, Michael can be seen regularly on MSNBC, CNBC, and PBS as an on-air expert in communication and business development.  

Secret -- time saving technique

Don’t try to do everything yourself -- create a collaborative environment at your workplace. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Michael wakes up early -- is proactive throughout the workday -- and does something special for someone in need.

Could have ruined your business -- but now -- an invaluable learning experience

Michael learned to identify constraints -- and Michael tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“A business owner needs to serve their audience through commitment and fulfillment.”

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

“Do it for the right reason -- Focus on mutually beneficial relationships that are grounded in results.”  

 

Final Round -- “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I would have gone back and put a system in place to help with scaling back the unnecessary workload.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Business owners who put in the work -- utilize a balanced strategy -- and maintain quality over a period of time.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual who adheres to deadlines -- has a natural sense of urgency -- and is willing to make decisions.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Attribute success
  2. Authenticity and openness

How best to connect with Michael:

 

---------Find us at Onwardnation.com---------

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